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THE FIRST SDGCA SUB-REGIONAL CENTER OFFICIALLY OPENED IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA
Lusaka, 07th August 2019- His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda who is also the Chair of the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa Board of Directors has joined His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia and SDGCA Board Member to officially launch the SDGCA Sub-Regional Center for Southern Africa in Lusaka, Zambia.
Speaking about the rationale of the Sub-Regional Center for Southern Africa, Dr. Belay Begashaw, the Director General of the SDGCA said it is in order to represent the immense differences in the agro-ecology, socio-cultural and geo-political aspects of the sub-regions. “SDGCA therefore endeavors to bring together ideas and experts and is constantly looking for strategic partnerships. The launch of the Sub-Regional Center for Southern Africa is therefore a key milestone of the SDGCA in realizing its increased and more contextualized representation of Africa’s sub-regions.” Dr. Begashaw added.
While officially launching the Sub- Regional Center, President Paul Kagame hailed the commitment of the Government of Zambia to the SDGs implementation in Africa; “This is the first Sub-Regional Centre to open its doors. The reason is very simple: The leadership and commitment of President Lungu and the Government of Zambia. We wish to express our gratitude for the speed with which Zambia followed through on its pledges.” President Kagame noted. He also reiterated the state of urgency that the SDGs impose on the continent considering their importance; “Time is of the essence. 2030 is only a decade away, and our continent is not on track to meet the targets. This is an agenda that is meaningful for us in Africa. So, really we do all these things for ourselves.” He urged all Stakeholders to seize the opportunity of the Center’s existence; “The role of the SDG Centre for Africa is to support governments in this endeavor, especially by providing technical advice on upgrading statistical capacity. The Centre can also provide relevant policy research and analysis tailored to the circumstances of each country. It is up to us, in government, the private sector and in civil society, to make the most of this resource.” President Kagame emphasized.
In his acceptance speech, His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia expressed the gratitude of the Government of Zambia for hosting the Sub- Regional Center for SDGs “the Center launched today renews our hope that, yet again, we can win the war against poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, and the negative effects of climate change, and other challenges.” On the benefits expected from the Center, President Lungu said that “the center will help member states to contextualize the sustainable development goals in line with their national. The center’s intervention in the health sector should be to promote healthy lives for our citizens to engage in productive activities. In addition, we expect the center to contribute to the enhancement of productivity and human capital to promote sustainable development.”
President Kagame and President Lungu handed over a symbolic key to Dr. Belay Begashaw as a sign f the official opening of the SDGCA Sub-Regional Center for Southern Africa Office. The Office will be based in Lusaka, Zambia in Kabulonga Suburb. Part of the event, two panel of experts discussed the performance of the Southern Africa Region on SDGs, following the recent release of the SDGs 3years Reality check and the 2019 Africa Index Report by the SDGCA. They also discussed the way forward to advance the achievement of the goals by the targeted timeline.
The historical milestone followed the signature of the “Host Country Agreement” signed in September 2018 between the Government of Zambia and The SDGC/A as a continuation of the Center’s commitment to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development throughout the five regions of Africa. The Sub-regional Center will support mainly the Southern Africa Region countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with more focus on regional priorities and challenges, and will serve Africa as a whole.
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